CEMEX
NYSE : CX

October 21, 2005 01:25 ET

CEMEX's Third Quarter 2005 Sales Increase 110%; Operating Income up 56%

MONTERREY, Mexico--(CCNMatthews - Oct 21, 2005) -

CEMEX, S.A. de C.V. (NYSE: CX) announced today that consolidated net sales in the third quarter of 2005 grew 110% to US$4.3 billion compared to the same quarter of 2004. This increase is primarily a result of the effect of the incorporation of RMC into CEMEX's consolidated results.

CEMEX Consolidated Third-Quarter Financial and Operational Highlights

-- Sales increased in the majority of CEMEX's markets due to higher cement, ready mix and aggregates volume. Infrastructure spending remains one of the main drivers of cement and ready-mix demand throughout CEMEX's markets, as was residential construction, driven largely by the prevailing low interest rate environment worldwide.

-- CEMEX's consolidated cement volume increased 27% to 22 million metric tons, while consolidated ready-mix volume grew 225% to 20.2 million cubic meters. The Company's consolidated aggregates volume increased 289% to 48 million metric tons, over the third quarter of 2004.

-- Operating income for the third quarter increased 56% to US$771 million.

-- Free cash flow was US$679 million, up 51% versus US$451 million in the same quarter of 2004.

-- EBITDA (operating income plus depreciation and amortization) increased to US$1 billion, up 54% over the third quarter of 2004, mainly due to the acquisition of RMC.

Hector Medina, Executive Vice President of Planning and Finance, said: "Our business showed continued strength in the third-quarter as we achieved significant increases in net sales and operating income. The results for the quarter reflect continued underlying growth in our core markets, as well as contributions from the recently integrated RMC operations. We are pleased to report the achievement of a 2.6 times net debt to EBITDA ratio only seven months after we completed the acquisition of RMC, one quarter ahead of schedule."

Consolidated Corporate Results

Cost of goods sold and selling, general, and administrative expenses (SG&A) increased 117% and 155%, respectively, versus the third quarter of 2004 due mainly to the acquisition of RMC.

Majority net income for the third quarter of 2005 rose 87%, to US$675 million from US$361 million in third quarter of 2004, and has increased 99% during the first nine months of 2005, reaching US$1,855 million.

Net debt at the end of the third quarter 2005 was US$8.9 billion, a reduction of US$724 million during the quarter. The net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio improved to 2.6 from 2.9 at the end of second quarter 2005. Interest coverage remained unchanged from second quarter 2005 at 6.5, decreasing from 6.7 one year prior.

During the quarter, free cash flow of US$679 million plus US$91.5 million in proceeds from the additional assets contributed to the joint venture with Ready Mix USA were primarily used to reduce net debt by US$687 million (when expressed in US dollars, net debt was further reduced by US$37 million due mainly to the depreciation of the euro, British pound and yen versus the US dollar during the quarter), and for investments in connection with the post merger integration of RMC.

Completion of Non-Dilutive Equity Offering

On October 3, 2005, CEMEX announced that a total of 30,993,340 ADSs were sold in a non-dilutive equity offering, which included the sale of 27,000,000 ADSs, plus an additional 3,993,340 ADSs to cover over-allotments. The 30,993,340 ADSs were sold in the form of both ADSs and CPOs, comprised of 22,943,340 ADSs and 80,500,000 CPOs with one ADS representing ten CPOs. The ADSs were offered to the public at a price of US$49.50 per ADS, and the CPOs were offered to the public at a price of MXN53.89 per CPO. The aggregate proceeds of the offering, including proceeds from the exercise of the over-allotment option, were approximately US$1.5 billion, after underwriting discounts and commissions. Approximately US$1.3 billion of these proceeds were used to unwind all of the forward contracts entered into between CEMEX and certain banks, with the remaining approximately US$200 million paid to CEMEX on October 3, 2005. The transaction did not increase the number of shares outstanding.

Joint Venture with Ready Mix USA

On September 1, 2005, CEMEX announced the signing of an agreement to expand the scope of the recently formed joint venture with Ready Mix USA. As part of the expansion of the joint venture, CEMEX contributed 27 additional ready-mix plants and 4 additional block facilities that are located in the Atlanta, Georgia metropolitan area and operated under the Allied Ready Mix name. In return for the contribution of these assets CEMEX received from the joint venture a net amount of approximately US$91.5 million .

Major Markets Third-Quarter Highlights

Net sales in CEMEX's Mexican operations increased 10% to US$782 million compared to US$709 million the same quarter of 2004 and EBITDA grew 2% over the prior year period to US$310 million. Cement volumes in Mexico increased 1% during the quarter versus the third quarter of 2004, while ready-mix volumes increased 14% over the same period. The main drivers of demand in the Mexican cement market continue to be in the residential construction and infrastructure sectors.

In the United States, net sales for the quarter were US$1.2 billion, up 116% over the third quarter of 2004, while EBITDA increased 121% to US$329 million. U.S. operations cement volumes increased 2% versus the same period a year ago and ready-mix volumes increased 212% due in large part to the consolidation of RMC operations. Cement demand continues to be driven primarily by a strong infrastructure sector, particularly in street and highway construction, as well as a growing industrial and commercial sector and a healthy residential sector.

CEMEX's operations in Spain reported net sales of US$376 million in the third quarter of 2005, up 19% versus the third quarter of 2004. EBITDA increased 10% to US$107 million in the quarter. Domestic cement volume decreased 2% over the third quarter 2004, ready-mix volume increased 59% over the previous year period. For the first nine months of the year, cement and ready-mix volumes increased 5% and 56%, respectively, versus the first nine months of 2004. In Spain, the main drivers of cement and ready-mix demand continue to be infrastructure spending and residential construction but growth has moderated versus the first half of the year.

Net sales and EBITDA of the Company's operations in the United Kingdom were US$480 million and US$50 million respectively. Cement sales in the UK decreased 4% for the third quarter and ready-mix volumes decreased 3% versus the same periods in 2004. The public, residential, industrial and commercial sectors remain the primary growth drivers in the UK although they are growing slower due to reduced spending on infrastructure and decreased demand from the repair, maintenance and improvement sectors

Other European Markets

During the third quarter of 2005, net sales in the other European markets was US$855 million and EBITDA was US$128 million.

In France, ready-mix volumes increased 8% in the third quarter. The increase in ready-mix demand is mainly due to a strong housing sector, driven by low interest rates and tax incentives aimed at promoting housing construction.

In Germany, the economic environment continues to be plagued with high unemployment, low consumer confidence and an overall weak business environment. Spending in infrastructure, which remains depressed due to high levels of public debt and limited investments, has offset the nonresidential sector, which has grown slightly due to a rise in commercial building construction. Cement sales volumes for the quarter declined 13% versus the comparable period of 2004.

South/Central America and the Caribbean

CEMEX operations in South/Central America and the Caribbean reported net sales of US$358 million during the second quarter of 2005, an increase of 16% over the third quarter of 2004. EBITDA decreased 16% to US$103 million versus the prior year period. Domestic cement volumes in the region increased 16% in the quarter versus third quarter 2004.

The Venezuelan economy continues to recover spurring construction spending. The main factors contributing to increased cement demand are the residential (both self-construction and government-sponsored housing) and infrastructure sectors fueled by increased oil revenues. For the quarter, cement volumes in Venezuela increased 38% versus third quarter 2004.

In Colombia, cement volumes grew 30% during the quarter mainly due to high demand from the self-construction sector and infrastructure spending.

Africa and Middle East

Third-quarter net sales in Africa and the Middle East were US$155, up 200% as compared to the same quarter of 2004. EBITDA increased 69% to US$43 million. Construction activity in the Middle East remains at a high level with housing requirements and oil revenues driving public and private investments.

Asia

Operations in Asia reported an increase in net sales of 53% over the third quarter of 2004, or US$76 million, while EBITDA was US$13 million, down 2% over the previous year period. Cement volumes in the region decreased 3% during the quarter.

CEMEX is a growing global building solutions company that provides products of consistently high quality and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries throughout the world. The company improves the well-being of those it serves through its relentless focus on continuous improvement and efforts to promote a sustainable future. For more information, visit www.cemex.com.

Contact Information

  • CEMEX, S.A. de C.V.
    Media Relations
    Jorge Perez, (52 81) 8888-4334
    or
    Investor Relations
    Abraham Rodriguez,(52 81) 8888-4262
    or
    Analyst Relations
    Ricardo Sales, (212) 317-6008